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Enzyme boosts metabolism, prevents weight gain in mice
Date:11/14/2011

lowed them to dispatch the extra calories much more efficiently. After being injected with glucose, for example, altered mice maintained lower blood sugar levels than unaltered mice. The same was true after insulin injections, suggesting that insulin was more effective. In addition, the transgenic mice expended much more energy than their normal counterparts, suggesting that the sugar was indeed metabolized.

The mechanisms by which IKKbeta in fatty tissue increases metabolic performance are not completely clear, but the researchers measured increased expression of genes associated both with fatty acid oxidation and with making mitochondria, a cell part responsible for producing energy.

One possible lesson from the research seems to be that while obesity and inflammation are both promoters of insulin resistance, Xu said, obesity seems to be the worse one.

"Lower body weight is always a beneficial thing for influencing insulin sensitivity," she said. "Reduced adiposity wins over increased inflammation."

Another point is that IKKbeta's ability to aid metabolism may be specific to its activation in fat tissue. In previous studies, scientists had activated it in the liver with no weight-reduction benefits and in the brain's hypothalamus, leading to increased weight gain.


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Contact: David Orenstein
david_orenstein@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert

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